Women are used to sexual harassment. It's something that they've learned to deflect and deal with throughout their adult lives.
Whether it's a cat call while taking a jog in the park, or a stare that lasts just that bit too long when walking home at night, it's something women are all too familiar with.
Now, a thread of viral Tumblr posts are showing how women are fighting back - and most importantly - helping one another if they witness harassment.
In the first post, Tumblr user Natnova shares how she experienced sexual harassment at the hands of a group of men, and how another woman stepped in to help her.
She states how was only 14, and she was walking by herself through a mall at 12:00am after finishing a shift at the Coldstone Creamery.
A bunch of men started whistling and meowing and getting really close to me and they kept asking me questions and I kept not answering until I didn’t know what else to do so I said 'I’m only 14' and almost in unison they said 'we don’t care'.
I was so f*****g scared I didn’t know what to do and they kept talking about how I looked and how my body looked and what they would do.
I was on the verge of tears I was all alone in a huge mall I knew I couldn’t outrun them all i felt totally hopeless.
But then, a female maintenance worker intervened.
A maintenance worker came up to all of us with a huge industrial broom in her hand, I thought she was going to yell at all of us for being in the mall after hours bc she probably thought we were all friends but instead she cursed all of them out in Spanish, threatened to press a panic button on her belt and then proceeded to walk me to the basement garage and waited with me until my mom got there to pick me up she had a death grip on her cart the whole time and a face of steel she looked so strong and I just kept saying thank you and she kept saying not to thank her because she had to stop them.
The experienced changed Natnova's life.
That was the moment I realised women were the most important beings on this planet and we have to protect each other because nobody else is going to, she didn’t even know me, we couldn’t even communicate that well because of the language barrier, she could have lost her job for waiting with me in the parking lot but she looked out for me when she didn’t have to, she had nothing to gain from it.
I’m 21 now and I tell everyone this story even though it happened 7 years ago, what she did that night helped me form and shape lot of my beliefs early on.
Since the post went viral, other Tumblr users have also shared their experiences of being saved by other women.
One user, ofgeorgraphy wrote:
My last year in NewYork City, I got off the subway around 9 or 10p.m. I only lived about 5 blocks from the F Train, but I hadn’t gotten more than two before a woman’s hand suddenly touched my arm.
“That guy behind us is following you,” she said. "He was watching you leave the train car and followed you up.”
I hadn’t noticed him, or at least not noticed him following me. When we stopped outside a grocery store, he stopped half a block back and loitered.
The woman linked her arm with mine and walked me several blocks out of her way to my front door and made sure I got inside safely.
Another, actualginnyweasly, wrote:
I was at a grocery store really late one night and some old guy kind of eyed me as i walked out of the store next to this other lady.
She and I made eye contact and I knew she was scared too.
We loaded up our groceries into our cars as fast as possible and I had way more bags than her so she got done faster than me.
I panicked because i was sure she was going to leave so I just hurried faster, shaking a little, and then I noticed she sat in her car, watching me and making sure nobody came near.
She waited not until all my groceries were loaded, or until my cart was put away, or until I got into my car. No, she didn’t drive away until I drove away.
She was leaving a nightclub alone, and was walking out to the car park, when three other girls surrounded her.
‘Those guys behind us were talking about following you. We can walk with you," they said.
I have MMA training but have never in my life had been offered the protection and sanction of my own gender. This is so important.
In all of these stories, women step in to protect other women. Of course, in an ideal world these instances of bravery and support wouldn't be necessary, but what they do show is something really positive - the 'Girl Code' is as strong as ever.
GIRL CODE. F*****’ GIRL CODE. LEAVE NO GIRL BEHIND. EVER.
The Tumblr posts have been edited for legibility by indy100.